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With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics approaching, small businesses also have been compelled to tackle the situation.
A little effort goes a long way
“Would you like any dessert?”
A 32-year-old male employee repeated the English sentence at a restaurant in Minato Ward, Tokyo, one day last December. Gambrinus Roppongi, a restaurant featuring craft beer and washoku, has many foreign customers, so it asked Miki Uchiki, an expert who teaches English conversation for customer service focusing on restaurants, to give regular lessons to the staff.
Uchiki, 36, also provides ideas that lead to better earnings. “Propose a specific dish to the customer by saying ‘We recommend A,’” she said. Using just such an expression, customers may be inclined to order the dish.
Having worked in restaurants in the United States, Uchiki points out that even a little conversation, such as asking, “Where are you from?” will give customers a friendly feeling that may encourage them to visit again.
More than 100 restaurants have taken Uchiki’s lessons, a sharp increase from last year. She has enjoyed hearing that the restaurants have seen an increase in the number of orders from foreign customers.